Norihito, Prince Takamado

Norihito, Prince Takamado
Prince Takamado
Prince Takamado
Reign 6 December 1984 – 21 November 2002
Spouse Princess Takamado
Princess Tsuguko of Takamado
Princess Noriko of Takamado
Princess Ayako of Takamado
Father Prince Mikasa
Mother Princess Mikasa
Born 29 December 1954(1954-12-29)
Tokyo, Japan
Died 21 November 2002(2002-11-21) (aged 47)
Tokyo, Japan
Burial Toshimagaoka cemetery, Tokyo
Imperial House of Japan
Imperial Seal of Japan.svg

HIH The Prince Mikasa
HIH The Princess Mikasa

Prince Takamado (高円宮憲仁親王 Takamado-no-miya Norihito shinnō?, 29 December 1954 – 21 November 2002) was a member of the Imperial House of Japan and the third son of HIH Prince Mikasa and HIH Princess Mikasa. He was a first cousin of Emperor Akihito, and formerly was seventh in line to the Chrysanthemum throne.



The Prince was a graduate of the Department of Law of Gakushuin University in 1978. He subsequently studied abroad from 1978 - 1981 at Queen's University Faculty of Law in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. After his return to Japan, he served as administrator of the Japan Foundation from 1981-2002.

Marriage and family

The Prince became engaged to Ms. Hisako Tottori, eldest daughter of Mr. Shigejirō Tottori, on 17 September 1984, whom he had previously met at a reception held by the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. They married on 6 December 1984. Originally known as Prince Norihito of Mikasa, he received the title Prince Takamado (Takamado-no-miya) and authorization to start a new branch of the imperial family 1 December 1984 in celebration of his wedding. The couple had three daughters:

Public service

Prince Takamado was honorary president of various charitable organizations involved with sponsorship of international exchange especially involving music, dance, and sports. He supported a number of foreign language speech contests. He was also very much involved in environmental issues and environmental education. The Prince was an honorary member of A.V. Edo-Rhenania Tokyo, a Roman Catholic student fraternity that is affiliated with the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen.

Prince and Princess Takamado were the most widely traveled couple in the Japanese Imperial Family, visiting 35 countries together in 15 years to represent Japan on various functions. The Prince’s last visits included Egypt and Morocco in May 2000, Hawaii in July 2001 (to promote the Japanese tea ceremony), and to the Republic of Korea from May to June 2002. The latter was in order to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan. The goodwill visit by the Prince and Princess to Korea was the first Japanese royal visit since World War II, and was an important step in the promotion of friendly bilateral relations between Japan and Korea. While in Korea, the couple toured the country extensively, met with President Kim Dae-jung and ordinary Koreans, and he visited the facilities for the physically disabled in South Korea that the Princess Nashimoto Masako had sponsored.[1]


On 21 November 2002, while playing squash with the Canadian ambassador Robert G. Wright at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, the Prince suddenly collapsed from ventricular fibrillation and was rushed to Keio University Hospital, where he died of heart failure.

The sudden death of one of the youngest and most active members of the Japanese Imperial Family shocked the nation. The Prince's funeral was held at Toshiba cemetery in northern Tokyo.

The Prince Takamado Cup, Japan's national youth football cup tournament, is named after him.


  1. ^ Yomiuri Shinbun (2002/05/31) 高円宮ご夫妻は31日午前、ソウル近郊の障害者福祉施設「明暉園」を訪問された。同園は、旧皇族・梨本宮家から李王朝最後の皇太子に嫁いだ李方子(まさこ)さん(1989年死去)が1967年に設立した施設。皇族として初の訪問となったこの日、方子さんと手を携え設立に尽力した金寿姙(キムスーイン)さん(81)も出迎え、サッカーボールをあしらったペナントをご夫妻に贈った。

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